Last week, I experimented with decorating cookies with Royal Icing. I've wanted to try it for awhile, and let's go on and put this out there…I am no professional cookie decorator. I just don't have a steady hand. But it was a lot of fun, and I thought I'd share the process with y'all!
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No-Spread Sugar Cookies
3 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
2 sticks (salted) butter
1 cup sugar
1 egg yolk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp almond extract
Mix together the flour and baking powder in a bowl. Set aside.
With a mixer, cream together the butter and sugar. Mix in the eggs and extracts until well blended (but don't over blend).
Slowly (in 1 cup increments) mix the flour mixture into the butter mixture. You might have to hand-knead the last little bit in…it gets thick! Again, don't over mix, but make sure everything is well incorporated into the dough.
Put a tiny bit of flour on the ball of dough, and roll the dough out to about a half an inch thickness on a piece of plastic wrap (so you can get your hand under it to pick up the cookies after cutting them out). Cut out your cookies and carefully place on a parchment paper-lined pan. Put the pan in the freezer for about 10 minutes.
In the meantime, preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Take cookies out of freezer and immediately bake for 10-12 minutes, or until edges are just (slightly) starting to brown.
Leave cookies on the pan for a few minutes after taking them out of the oven, then cool on a cooling rack before decorating.
Now for the Royal Icing…
I used a few coffee cups and divided the icing so I could color it. I really recommend the Americolor food colors…they aren't that expensive and worked really well!
I took that exact recipe and lined my cookies. Again, I don't have a steady hand at all…so these aren't perfect.
(Why yes, that is a McDonald's Hercules plate, circa 1995. Thanks for noticing.)
Once you are done lining the cookies, add water (maybe a teaspoon at a time) to the icing, until it is the thickness of a heavy syrup). Put this in your squeeze bottle and “flood” the middle of the cookies (this is called flood icing for that very reason). I used the tip of the nozzle to spread it just a little, but it should be thin enough that it pretty much spreads on its own.